By Pati Githens (Programs and Partnership Manager)
Good morning!!! Into gardening? Love fresh produce from your own land or even pots? We're with you! This year, we decided - of course, this was right before the shutdown and virus craziness started - to create a garden over at the Covenhoven. We figured it would be great to use what grew in our open hearth cooking programs. Easy, right?
Well, the planning of it has been! Every year, Thomas Jefferson recorded his plantings at Monticello starting about 1767 and we used those records as a start for our garden. In our garden, we plan to have asparagus, lettuce, radishes, globe artichokes, dent corn, sweet potatoes, peas, onions, and flax. The flax isn't being grown for its seeds, but to demonstrate linen production next year.
We have a nice long - 8 ft x 35 ft - garden with paths planned out. It will be located on the side front of the Covenhoven House's property - similar to the victory gardens of the 1940s - so that people driving by will see the garden and stop by the historic house when it's open in the summer.
So far, getting heirloom and organic plants and seeds have not been a problem. Planning out the garden layout has not been a problem. The only thing that has not cooperated has been the weather.
See, we were supposed to turn over the garden yesterday and get things started. It started sprinkling lightly. We could have dealt with that. Then it started raining. Hard. And kept raining all day. Today, Sunday, March 29, will be the same. As soon as we have a day that doesn't have any rain, we will get started on turning over the garden.
Stay tuned! There will be a break in the wet, soggy, spring days....soon.......I hope.....our peas, lettuce, and radishes would love this weather right now!
03/31/2020 - YAY!
The weather was chilly and overcast and the ground is muddy, but we turned over the ground for the new garden at the Covenhoven House!
First, the rototiller did a good job of breaking up the grass and top layer. A second and third pass broke up the big clumps, but because the soil is a bit muddy, there are still more clumps to deal with in the drier weather.
During the rototilling, we found lots of good friends who seemed a bit perturbed at us for unearthing them. Hello little fellows!!!
String and stakes were used to section the garden into the various planting areas, and some stepping stones to mark the paths between the sections.
Now to start the planting!